THE ORIGINAL IMAGE OF DIVINE MERCY
A team of documentarists travel through Europe and the United States uncovering the details of the untold story about the little-known Original Image of Divine Mercy. In 1934, at the request of Jesus himself, Saint Faustina and her confessor, Blessed Fr. Michal Sopocko, secretly began working with a relatively unknown artist to duplicate on a canvas her mystical vision of the Merciful Jesus. With Fr. Michal modeling as Christ for many hours, the three unlikely friends came up with the only Image of Divine Mercy that Saint Faustina ever saw. But after all the corrections and touch-ups at the insistence of Saint Faustina, the violently anti-Catholic Soviet Occupation of Vilnius, Lithuania, forced the painting into hiding. Finally, two humble nuns accepted the “mission impossible” and transported the miraculous painting across the dangerous border between Lithuania and Belarus. In 2005, after 75 years of wandering, the painting was placed in a permanent home in a beautiful shrine in Vilnius according to the wishes of Saint Faustina and Blessed Fr. Michal Sopocko.
Despite the popularity of the devotion to the Divine Mercy around the world, very few realize that there is only one Original Image of Divine Mercy. How did so many other renderings of Saint Faustina’s vision become so well-known around the world while the Original Image remains in obscurity? Is this Original Image unique for reasons above and beyond the fact that it is the only image of Divine Mercy that Saint Faustina ever saw? What qualities about the painting are integral to the devotion and are unique to the Original Image? Did John Paul II know about the Original Image when he canonized Saint Faustina? Does this Image have a special role in the upcoming Year of Mercy?
A timely documentary, The Original Image of Divine Mercy features key witnesses to the mysterious case of a painting that survived the Soviet Occupation of Vilnius, with exclusive commentary by Bishop Robert Barron, George Weigel, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn of Vienna, Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz of Kraków, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Harry Connick Jr., Jim Gaffigan, Immaculee Ilibagiza, Archbishop Fisichella, and many others including a special footage with Pope Francis. The Original Image of Divine Mercy is set to be THE FILM EVENT of the Holy Year of Mercy, and, beginning on Ash Wednesday of 2016, will be playing internationally throughout the Holy Year at parishes, schools and conferences celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
THIS FILM IS BEING SHOWN HERE AT SFX on FRIDAY 1 April at 7:00pm (School Gymnasium)